Weevils That Eat Bromeliads | Pests of Bromeliads | Bromeliad


History of Metamasius callizona
in Florida

November 1989: M. callizona was found in a bromeliad nursery in Ft. Lauderdale and, subsequently, was found in residential and natural areas of central and northern Broward County, and southern Palm Beach County by Division of Plant Industry (DPI) inspectors (O'Brien & Thomas 1990).

October 1990: M. callizona was found in a greenhouse in North Ft. Myers, Lee County, attacking various ornamental bromeliads (McKenzie 1990). During the next 3 years, the weevil was found in T. utriculata (a, August 1991) outdoors in Ft. Myers, (b) in the extreme northwest of the county, and (c) several miles inland along the Orange River, a tributary of the Caloosahatchee River. This probably indicates transport of infested plants to Ft. Myers, and subsequent escape of the weevil into native bromeliads.

Late 1990: About 80% of the biomass of Tillandsia spp. disappeared (were destroyed by M. callizona) in Hidden Forest, Broward County, during a 4-6 week period late in 1990 (Creel 2000).

February 1991: M. callizona was found at Oak Tree Country Club, Easterlin Park, Secret Woods Nature Center, Tree Tops Park, Trade Winds Park, and the County Parks Headquarters (Broward County), at a golf course at Boca West and a construction site (Palm Beach County), in T. utriculata, T. fasciculata, and T. paucifolia (Frank & Thomas 1991a), but with no trace of it at Fairchild Tropical Gardens or Matheson Hammock County Park (Dade County). Damage at Easterlin Park was spectacular, with dying, fallen T. utriculata littering the ground. Subsequent visits in 1991-1993 to Tree Tops Park, and to an undeveloped property (the former Kapok Inn site) owned by Broward County Parks, showed large populations of the weevil, causing heavy losses to T. utriculata (as at Easterlin Park), whereafter weevils became harder to find there as the bromeliad population declined.

May 1991: M. callizona was found at Castellow Hammock, Goulds (Dade County), in T. utriculata, but there was no trace of it in Fuchs' Hammock, Meisner Hammock, or Matheson Hammock County Park (Dade County) (Frank & Thomas 1991b). This probably indicates transport of infested plants to Goulds, and subsequent escape of the weevil into native bromeliads.

August 1992: M. callizona was found at Ft. Myers (Lee County), on pineapple, grower and County Extension Agent (Frank, unpublished).

Sometime in or before 1993: two species of bromeliads (Tillandsia paucifolia and T. flexuosa) were extirpated from Hidden Forest, Broward County, by action of M. callizona (Creel 2000).

July 1993: M. callizona was found in Palm Beach County, northwest of West Palm Beach airport, in Quesnelia sp. (Frank 1993a).

August 1993: A visit to Ding Darling National Wildlife Preserve and various other sites on Sanibel and Captiva Islands (Lee County) showed no evidence of M. callizona (Frank 1994b).

May 1994: A 4-day visit to southwestern Florida revealed no evidence of M. callizona in Hillsborough River State Park and John Sargeant Wilderness Preserve (Hillsborough County), Lake Manatee Recreation Area (Manatee County), Indian Mound Park, Myakka River State Park, Oscar Scherer State Recreation Area, and the grounds of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota County), Collier-Seminole State Park, the Fakahatchee Strand, and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Collier County), the banks of Fisheating Creek at Palmdale (Glades County), or Highlands Hammock State Park (Highlands County) (Frank 1994b).

August 1994: M. callizona was found in Charlotte County, eastern side of county, ca. 2 mi. south of northern border, in a shade house, with damage especially to Dyckia (Wilson 1994); July 1996, western side of county, Don Beadle.

November 1995: M. callizona was found at Ft. Pierce (St. Lucie County), in T. utriculata, by DPI Inspector Ken Hibbard (Frank 1996a). This probably indicates transport of infested plants to Ft. Pierce, and subsequent escape of the weevil into native bromeliads.

March 1996: M. callizona was found at Palmdale (Glades County) and Immokalee (Collier County) in T. utriculata, but not in the Fakahatchee Strand (Collier County), at LaBelle (Hendry County), at Matheson Hammock County Park and Meisner Hammock (Dade County), at Jonathan Dickinson State Park (Martin County) or at the Savannas State Reserve (St. Lucie County) (J.H. Frank & M.C. Thomas).

July 1996: M. callizona was not found at the Fakahatchee Strand and Collier-Seminole State Park (Collier County) or at Ding Darling National Wildlife Reserve (Sanibel Island, Lee County) (Frank, unpublished).

August 1996: M. callizona was found in native Tillandsia in southern Sarasota County (Beadle 1997).

September 1996: M. callizona was found in the Marie Selby Botanic Gardens (Sarasota County) and was also found in Manatee County (Sarasota Bromeliad Society members I. and L. Dolatowski).

May 1997: M. callizona was found in a pineapple at Palm City, Martin County (telephone call from county Agricultural Extension Director Robert Whitty to J.H. Frank, 23 May 1997).

August 1997: A M. callizona larva was found in a cocoon in a fallen T. utriculata at LaBelle, Hendry County, on 27 August 1997 by J.H. Frank.

October 1997: M. callizona was not found at the Fakahatchee Strand nor at Collier-Seminole State Park (Collier County) on 13 October, nor at Myakka River State Park (Sarasota County) on 14 October (J.H. Frank & S. Sreenivasan).

August 1998: M. callizona was found in T. utriculata in Shady Oaks Park, Ft. Myers, but not on Sanibel Island (J.H. Frank and J. Salas).

October 1998: M. callizona was found in T. utriculata growing on oak at Trowbridge Road (near highway 68), St. Lucie County, by DPI inspector K. Hibbard.

November 1998: M. callizona was found at Valkaria, Brevard County, in Tillandsia flexuosa by DPI inspectors D. Faneuf and K. Hibbard, on 17 November 1998, with plant identification by DPI botanist N. Coile.

December 1998: M. callizona was found in T. utriculata at Dale Wimbrow Park on the Sebastian River, Indian River County, by DPI inspector K. Hibbard. It was found at the Savannas State Preserve, St. Lucie County, infesting T. utriculata and T. balbisiana, as well as on the St. Lucie River at Port St. Lucie, infesting T. fasciculata, by O.R. Creel.

January 1999: M. callizona was found in T. flexuosa at Floridana Beach (on the barrier island), Brevard County by DPI inspectors D. Faneuf and K. Hibbard, on 26 January 1999, with plant identification by DPI botanist N. Coile.

Early March 1999: The following observations are by J.H. Frank and M.C. Thomas on 2-5 March: M. callizona was seen in T. utriculata growing on oak at Leghorn Road, Valkaria, Brevard County (2 March); in T. utriculata growing on oak at Dale Wimbrow Park on the Sebastian River, Indian River County (3 March); in T. utriculata growing on oak at Donald MacDonald Park, on the Sebastian River, Indian River County (3 March); in T. utriculata growing on oak and on the ground at the Savannas State Preserve, St. Lucie County (3 March); in T. utriculata growing on oak at Trowbridge Road (near highway 68), St. Lucie County (3 March); in T. fasciculata growing on cypress on the St. Lucie River at Prima Vista Blvd., Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie County (3 March); the same at Loxahatchee Riverbend Park (highway 706), Palm Beach County (4 March); the same at Frenchman's Creek Country Club, Ronald Ross Road, Palm Beach County (4 March); and the same at Loxahatchee County Park (highway 98), Palm Beach County (4 March). This weevil was not found in bromeliads in southern Indian River County (Wabasso, Orchid Isle, and Vero Beach, 2 March); Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Martin County, 4 March; western Palm Beach County (Belle Glade, Pahokee and Canal Point), 4 March; western Martin County (Port Mayaca), 4 March; Okeechobee County (Okeechobee and Ft. Drum), 5 March; Osceola County (Yeehaw Junction, Kenansville, Lake Jackson, St. Cloud, Kissimmee, and along Boggy Creek Road [highway 530]), 5 March; or Orange County (highway 15 southeast of Orlando), 5 March. In the Withlacoochee State Forest (south of highway 50) in Hernando County, only Tillandsia bartramii (small form), T. usneoides, and T. recurvata were seen on 5 March, and none of these grows large enough to support development of M. callizona larvae.

Mid-March 1999: The following observations are by J.H. Frank on 15-18 March: M. callizona was seen in T. utriculata on oak at the corner of Bayshore Drive and Center Road, Terra Ceia Island, Manatee Co. (16 March); in T. utriculata on oak about 2 mi. west of Lake Manatee State Recreation Area, along highway 64 (16 March); in T. utriculata on oak at North Wilson Avenue and West Whidden Street, Arcadia, Desoto County (17 March); in T. utriculata on oak at a private campground on the Myakka River, near the northern end of River Road, just south of I-75, Sarasota County (17 March); in T. utriculata on oak at a Race Trac gasoline station, just east of I-75 on highway 301 east of Ellenton, Manatee County (18 March). This weevil was not found at the following localities, all of which had T. utriculata: Largo, Pinellas Co. (15 March); Cedar Drive, Shell Point, Hillsborough Co. (16 March); just south of Hillsborough/Manatee Co. boundary on highway 41 (16 March); Lake Manatee State Recreation Area, Manatee Co. (16 March); just east of Myakka River on highway 64, Manatee Co. (16 March); Duette Preserve, Manatee Co. (16 March); Manatee/Hardee Co. boundary at highway 64 (16 March); Ona Research Station (University of Florida), Hardee Co. (16 March); Peace River at Zolfo Springs, Hardee Co. (16 March); Desoto County Park, Peace River, Arcadia, Desoto Co. (17 March); Myakka River State Park, Sarasota Co. (17 March); Englewood Key/Manasota Key, Sarasota Co. (17 March); Laurel Park, Venice, Sarasota Co. (17 March); Oscar Scherer State Recreation Area, Sarasota Co. (17 March); Gulfray Road, Longboat Key, Manatee Co. (18 March); Hillsborough River State Park, Hillsborough Co. (18 March).

Late March 1999: The following observations were made on 23-26 March by J.H. Frank and J. Salas. Metamasius callizona was found in Tillandsia utriculata at Highlands Hammock State Park Highlands County on 23 March. It was not found at Fuchs Hammock, Meisner Hammock nor Castellow Hammock (Dade County) nor John Pennekamp State Park (Monroe County) on 24 March. It was not found in Everglades National Park on 25 March. It was not found at Camp Owaissa Bauer nor Matheson Hammock Park (Dade County) on 26 March. Bromeliads examined included T. utriculata, T. fasciculata, T. variabilis, T. balbisiana, T. paucifolia, T. setacea, and Guzmania monostachia. Although it had been present at Castellow Hammock in the early 1990s (before Hurricane Andrew), there was no evidence of its continued presence.

March-April 1999: The following observations were made by J.H. Frank on 30 March - 1 April. Metamasius callizona was found in North Naples and in Sunniland (Collier County) in Tillandsia utriculata on 1 April. The North Naples locality (corner of Vanderbilt Drive and Bluebill Avenue) had been located the previous week by insect collector Roy Morris. The Sunniland location (intersection of highways 29 and 858) places the weevil within 4 miles of the northern boundary of the Big Cypress National Preserve. The weevil was not found within the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve on 30 March, the Big Cypress National Preserve (from the Oasis Visitor Center to a point about 6.5 miles north on the Florida Trail) on 31 March, nor the Collier-Seminole State Park on 1 April.

Early June 1999: M. callizona was found (weekend of 5-6 June) in a fallen Tillandsia (? utriculata) at Koreshan State Historic Site, Lee County (Alana Edwards, FAU).

October 1999: M. callizona was not found at Matheson Hammock State Park, nor in Deering Estate, Dade County, in two trips to each site (Don Keller, BSSF).

October-November 1999: M. callizona has increased its population to the point where most of the large T. utriculata plants in the Savannas State Preserve, St. Lucie County, are dead and dying (Creel 2000).

November 1999: M. callizona was found in Tillandsia utriculata on Longboat Key, Sarasota County (Bruce K. Holst and others, Marie Selby Gardens). This is the first confirmed record on a Gulf Coast island; the weevil was not found on Longboat Key on 17 March 1999 (J.H. Frank).

Late January 2000: There was no evidence of M. callizona along the Florida National Scenic Trail, in the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, east of Kenansville, Osceola County (Candy Bealer, Tarflower Chapter of FNPS).

Mid-February 2000: There was no evidence of M. callizona on Crescent J Ranch/Forever Florida, west of Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area, east of Kenansville, Osceola County (Candy Bealer, Tarflower Chapter of FNPS).

February 2000: M. callizona was not found at Matheson Hammock State Park, Dade County, in two trips there, nor at the Deering Estate, Dade County (Don Keller, BSSF).

Late February 2000: There was no evidence of M. callizona in the Lake Proctor Wilderness Area, east of Sanford, Seminole County, although very few bromeliads were encountered there (Candy Bealer, Tarflower Chapter of FNPS).

Mid-March 2000: A canoe trip along parts (Crystal Springs section and two sections in the Wilderness area) of the Hillsborough River State Park revealed no large Tillandsia and therefore no evidence of M. callizona (Candy Bealer, Tarflower Chapter of FNPS). This is a bit strange because I encountered a few large Tillandsia along the banks of that river in Hillsborough River State Park in May 1994 and March 1999 (J.H. Frank).

March 2000: M. callizona was not found at Turner River road, Collier County (Don Keller, BSSF).

Early April 2000: About 90% of the Tillandsia fasciculata along the St. Lucie River at Prima Vista Blvd., Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie County are dead or dying due to action of M. callizona (Olan R. Creel, Port St. Lucie). This observation is important because it shows that no matter that T. fasciculata may be more resistant to the weevil than is T. utriculata, it still is subject to decimation.

July 2000: M. callizona was found in T. utriculata on the 4th of July weekend on Sanibel Island, Lee County (Thurrott 2000) and in the Indrio Road area of St. Lucie County and Oslo Road area of Indian River County on 9 July (J.H. Frank).

August 2000: M. callizona was not found in Collier-Seminole State Park on 6 August nor the Corkscrew Swamp Wildlife Preserve, Collier County on 5 August (J.H. Frank). It was not found in the Prairie Lakes region of Osceola County on 12 August (C. Bealer).

September 2000: M. callizona was not found on upper Key Largo (Monroe County) nor Fuchs' Hammock (Dade County) on 12 September nor in the Fakahatchee Strand (Collier County) on 13 September, nor in the Corkscrew Swamp (Collier County) on 14 September. However, it was found for the first time in the Myakka River State Park (Sarasota County) on 14 September in Tillandsia utriculata and T. fasciculata (J.H. Frank). It was not found in the Lake Jessup Wilderness area, Seminole County, on 4 September (C. Bealer).

November 2000: Tillandsia balbisiana plants at Loxahatchee Park (highway 441, about 15 mi. N of Broward County line). Palm Beach County, were seen to be weevil-damaged (Boca Raton Bromeliad Society member Ken Marks).

Late December 2000: M. callizona damage was found in T. utriculata at Lake Kissimmee State Park, Polk County (Boca Raton Bromeliad Society member Ken Marks).

February 2001: M. callizona was found in T. fasciculata at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Palm Beach County. It was not found at Archbold Biological Station/Buck Island Ranch (Highlands County), Hickory Hammock (Highlands County), nor Jonathan Dickinson State Park (Martin County). It was not observed at Highlands Hammock State Park, although it was found in the park in 1999. The weevil continues to attack T. fasciculata in Loxahatchee Grove Park (Palm Beach County), where there are no longer any T. utriculata plants (B. Larson).

April 2001: The following observations are by B. Larson on 7-10 April: Weevil damage was found in T. fasciculata at both Fern Tree Nature Center and Tree Tops Park (Broward Co.), but no weevils were found. M. callizona was not found at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Collier-Seminole State Park, nor Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (Collier Co.). Native weevil (M. mosieri) damage was observed in the Fakahatchee Strand on T. variabilis, and M. mosieri adults and larvae were found on T. balbisiana, T. utriculata, T. flexuosa, and T. pruinosa at Rookery Bay.

The following observations are by J.H. Frank and M.C. Thomas on 19-20 April: The spot in Immokalee (Collier County) where the weevil had been previously found in T. utriculata was devoid of that plant, and no weevils were observed in the remaining T. fasciculata plants. An old M. callizona cocoon was found in a fallen T. fasciculata on C.R. 858 in Sunniland, approximately 1/2 mile west of Hwy 29. A large T. utriculata with damage to the flower spike was found outside the front entrance of Collier-Seminole State Park (19 April), but no weevils were present. The following day, three cocoons and three weevil larvae (which did not survive to the adult stage but were probably M. mosieri) were found in small T. utriculata plants. An empty weevil cocoon was found in a large T. utriculata at the Reserve Headquarters of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (5 miles south of Naples). It was very likely M. callizona, but no weevils were found for confirmation.

May 2001: Harry Luther of Selby Botanical Gardens found damage in several large, fallen T. utriculata plants in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, but no weevils were present.

June 2001:The following observations were made by Jacksonville-Gainesville Bromeliad Society member Kyle Brown on 4-7 June: Several T. utriculata plants on the north side of the #7 fairway at Coral Creek Golf Club, Placida, Charlotte Co., were infested with all stages of M. callizona. Two T. utriculata plants on the south side of the same fairway were infested with larvae. Several T. utriculata plants on the west side of the #7 fairway at The Sanctuary, Sanibel Island, Lee County, were infested with all stages of M. callizona. Several other species of small Tillandsia were not seen to have weevils. In a pond apple/cypress pond preservation area at Mediterra Club, North Naples, Collier Co., M. callizona larvae were found in a T. variabilis plant. Many other T. variabilis plants showed signs of weevil feeding with no weevils present. Weevils were not found in the T. fasciculata and T. balbisiana plants at the same site. Extensive searching in high populations of T. utriculata, T. fasciculata, and T. balbisiana at Harbor Island Club on Marco Island, Collier Co., turned up no weevils anywhere on the property (Brown 2001).

The following observations are by B. Larson on 13-16 June: Possible weevil damage on terrestrially-growing T. utriculata was observed at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge (Martin Co.), but plants also showed vertebrate damage and no weevils were present. At Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (Palm Beach Co.), M. callizona damage was observed in T. balbisiana, in addition to the damage and weevil previously found in T. fasciculata. A fallen T. fasciculata in Morikami Park (Palm Beach Co.) showed weevil damage. The weevil was not found in Okeeheelee Park and South County Regional Park (Palm Beach Co.), where few T. utriculata remain. The weevil was not found at Big Cypress Seminole Reservation (Hendry Co.), where searched bromeliads included T. utriculata, T. fasciculata, T. paucifolia, T. balbisiana, and T. variabilis. The native weevil (M. mosieri) was found there on T. variabilis.

November 2001: M. callizona was found in the hybrid T. x smalliana in Savannas Preserve State Park and along the north fork of the St. Lucie River (O.R. Creel).

Highlands Hammock State Park (Highlands County) Assistant Park Manager Robert Yero reported increased weevil damage in bromeliads, first noticed about six months earlier.

January 2002: M. callizona was found in the Lettuce Lake area of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Collier County). Two cocoons, one with a pupa, were found in a fallen T. utriculata, and an adult was found on a post near the rain shelter (Brian Sidoti, Selby Botanical Gardens).

March 2002: On 20 March, M. callizona was found in the center of the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. The adult was in a medium-sized T. utriculata near an area abundant with Guzmania monostachia (O.R. Creel).

On 27 March, M. callizona was found in T. fasciculata and T. balbisiana at Grassy Waters Preserve, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County (B. Larson, Joyce Thompson, Jessica Bayer, Cheryl Jorandby, and students of Forest Hill Environmental Science Academy).

April 2002: M. callizona was found in T. fasciculata in Naples Park (Collier County), near the intersection of Rt. 41 and Immokalee Rd. (Erica Lynne).

M. callizona was found in the 1900 block of SW 3rd Ave., Okeechobee, Okeechobee County on 27 April (J.H. Frank).

M. callizona was found on 25 April in Guzmania monostachia in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park (Park Biologist Mike Owen and O.R. Creel).

November 2002: M. callizona was found on 12 November in Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest and Wildlife Management Area (Hendry County), at latitude 26.50 and longitude -81.25 (Jean McCollom, Okaloacoochee Slough Biologist).

Olan Ray Creel found extensive weevil damage in the St. Sebastian River State Buffer Preserve (Indian River County) on 16 November. In a cypress dome in the northwest sector of the preserve a large population of T. fasciculata has been almost entirely destroyed by the weevil. M. callizona was also present on T. fasciculata, T. utriculata and T. balbisiana in a nearby maple-oak swamp forest

December 2002: Ronald Cave and Olan Ray Creel found no evidence of M. callizona presence while collecting M. mosieri at three sites along the Florida Turnpike in Osceola County (between mile markers 116 and 227).

January 2003: Ronald Cave and Olan Ray Creel explored an area in the northern reaches of the St. Lucie River with Greg Kaufman and Jeff Beal of FDEP. The destruction from M. callizona was severe.

Barbra Larson found no evidence of weevil presence in T. utriculata populations at Hillsborough River State Park (Hillsborough County) on 11 January.

February 2003: Olan Ray Creel observed widespread evidence of M. callizona activity in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park on 14-16 February.

March 2003: Ronald Cave found no evidence of weevil presence in Everglades National Park (Mahogany Hammock and along the Anhinga Trail) on 3 March.

On 21 March, Ronald Cave and Jim Duquesnel, Park Biologist, searched for weevil damage on Tillandsia flexuosa and T. fasciculata at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo (Monroe County), with no evidence of damage found.

Howard Frank found no evidence of weevil presence at Matheson Hammock (Miami-Dade County) on 22 March.

Rebecca Maldonado found M. callizona damage on 25 March in T. utriculata on Country Road in the Lake Washington area of North Melbourne (Brevard County). Carroll Holland, Brevard County Master Gardener, submitted a sample to the Distance Diagnostic and Identification System. One adult, one larva and four cocoons were found in damaged T. utriculata plants at the site on 23 April by Barbra Larson, Karen Andreas, Michael Andreas, and Carroll Holland.

April 2003: Moyna and Ed Prince (Bromeliad Society of South Florida) found no evidence of weevil presence at Deering Estate, Miami-Dade County, on 2 April.

June 2003: M. callizona was found on 9 June in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, in NW Okeechobee County, about 25 miles north of the city of Okeechobee and 4.1 miles south of the Osceola County line (N27ƒ 35’ 2.7", W81ƒ 02’ 43.67"). An adult was found in one of several large Tillandsia that had blown down in front of the park office and had been chewed through (Christopher Tucker, Park Biologist). Several M. callizona cocoons were found in a dismembered Tillandsia utriculata at the Upper Little Manatee Nature Preserve, Hillsborough County, two miles north of the Manatee County line (Steve Dickman, Hillsborough County Parks).

August 2003: Karen and Michael Andreas (Seminole Bromeliad Society) found no direct evidence of weevil presence at Enchanted Forest Park, Titusville on two trips to assess weevil presence (12 August and 16 August).

October 2003: M. callizona was found in T. utriculata on 11 October in the Lake Jackson area of the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area (Osceola County) (J.H. Frank). M. callizona cocoons were found in Tillandsia utriculata at the Bullfrog Creek Scrub Nature Preserve, Hillsborough County (Steve Dickman).

December 2003: M. callizona was found in T. utriculata on 3 December at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Collier County. Three prepupae in cocoons, 2 small larvae and 1 adult were found by the parking lot of the administration building (J.H. Frank). M. callizona was found in Tillandsia utriculata at Stallion Hammock in the Balm Boyette Scrub Nature Preserve, Hillsborough County (Steve Dickman).

June 2004: M. callizona was found attacking Tillandsia simulata in the San Sebastian River Buffer Preserve. This is the first record of attack on T. simulata, and it was made this long after initial damage in south Florida because T. simulata is restricted to central Florida (O.R. Creel and P.S. Duetting, IRREC, Ft. Pierce).

February 2005: M. callizona cocoons were found in T. utriculata at Bear Island in the Big Cypress National Preserve. The cocoons were taken to the laboratory, and M. callizona adults emerged. This is the first record from the Big Cypress, and the collection locality is miles into the heart of it. The collection date was 17 February 2005 (Dennis Giardina, Florida Panther Refuge).

April 2005: In the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest (southern Hendry County/northern Collier County): Metamasius callizona is almost throughout the entire forest, which is 32,000 acres (Senior Forester Kevin Podkowka).

June 2005. Hillsborough County . Stallion Hammock: is populated with Tillandsia fasciculata and T. utriculata, still with many healthy plants in the canopy, but there were several fallen and freshly dead T. utriculata plants with larvae, pupae and adult M. callizona. Little Manatee River : the oak hammock was littered with long-dead T. utriculata, and no large plants remained in the canopy; one fallen oak had a patch of seedlings, and one adult M. callizona was found. Information from Sheryl Bowman, Environmental Scientist, Hillsborough County Parks , Recreation and Conservation Department. 

May 2006. Visits on 22-23 May to Matheson Hammock Park, Doug Barnes Park, Camp Owaissa Bauer, and Castellow Hammock, all of them in the Miami Dade Parks system, revealed no evidence of Metamasius callizona (J.H. Frank).

June 2006. On a trail in the Big Cypress National Preserve, 2.8 miles south of I-75 and approximately 30 yards east of Highway 29, on 5 June 2006, James T. Fisher noticed weevil-damaged Tillandsia. He pulled some of the plants apart and found four Metamasius callizona cocoons .

July 2006. At Brooker Creek Preserve in northeastern Pinellas County Bruce Rinker (Pinellas County Environmental Lands Division) had noticed damage to bromeliads in 2005. But in July 2006 he found larvae of M. callizona (supplied to J.H. Frank) and Ty Miramonti (a volunteer at the preserve) supplied photographic evidence of damaged Tillandsia utriculata.

August 2006. Karen and Michael Andreas had visited the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, just south of Titusville in Brevard County, in August 2003 and seen no weevil-damaged bromeliads. However, Joanie Faulls and Xavier de Seguin (Brevard County Parks) in 2006 saw damage that they suspected to have been caused by M. callizona. Karen and Michael investigated on 3 August 2006, and found weevil larvae in Tillandsia utriculata. Teresa Cooper, in contact with Judy Gregoire (Brevard County Parks), visited the location on 15 November 2006 and found 2 larvae, 2 pupae and an adult M. callizona in T. utriculata.

October 2006. James T. Fisher visited Everglades National Park. He checked bromeliads between Anhinga Trail and Flamingo for evidence of M. callizona, but found none. On 4 October he was hiking in the Big Cypress access area - a mile north of Alligator Alley and a mile west from that point; while pushing through a small cypress dome he checked bromeliads by pulling on central leaves and found a M. callizona pupa in a T. fasciculata.

November 2006. Teresa Cooper was asked to visit the Disney Wilderness Preserve by Monica Folk (The Nature Conservancy). This preserve is centered around Lake Russell in Osceola County. Teresa did so on 14 November 2006 and found an empty weevil cocoon (probably M. callizona) in Tillandsia fasciculata close to the lake. On 15 November she visited the Tosohatchee Reserve in eastern Orange County at invitation of Alice Bard (Florida Park Service). There she found 1 larva, 2 pupae, and 1 adult of M. callizona in Tillandsia utriculata alongside Fish Hole Road.

December 2006. Teresa Cooper visited the Disney Wilderness Preserve again on 14 December and was shown adult specimens of M. callizona collected from M. callizona collected from T. utriculata , thus confirming its presence. That same day she also visited the Tosohatchee Reserve again.

June 2007. On 15 June 2007, Teresa Cooper, Steve Dickman, and Tim Fischer visited three sites at Lake Rogers Park in Hillsborough County. The part of the park in question is known as “Northwest Equestrian Park.” The 1st site was an oak hammock with T. utriculata and T. simulata; 1 adult, 1 pupa, and 4 larvae were found with very little searching. The 2nd site was a swamp forest with T. fasciculata, T. utriculata, T. simulata, and T. balbisiana; 1 pupa and 1 larva were found. The pupa came from an infested T. simulata plant and was reared out and identified as M. callizona, providing definite evidence that T. simulata is being attacked by the weevil. The 3rd site was a concentrated T. simulata population growing in a small, isolated grove of oak trees; there was no sign of weevil infestation.

Application was made to Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department for a release of the biological control agent Lixadmontia franki there. Written authorization was received by email in 46 hours. Consequently, the first release of the fly was made about 9 a.m.on 29 June, consisting of 56 adult flies, 27 females and 29 males. The release location was the swamp forest. The flies had been reared at the Biological Control Research and Containment Facility of Indian River Research and Education Center, IFAS, University of Florida, at Ft. Pierce. This is a milestone.

July 2007: Metamasius callizona was detected on ornamental bromeliads at a private house on Ownby Court, Orlando, FL 32837 by master gardener volunteer Susan Rhoads. A photograph of an adult was transmitted electronically by Ed Thralls, Orange County Extension Service for confirmation. The first records from Orange County were from the Tosohatchee in November 2006, but this seems to be the first from an urban area.

On 20 July 2007, a release of Lixadmontia franki (60 females, 35 males) was made at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County, with authorization from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

August 2007. On 3 August 2007, a release of Lixadmontia franki (69 females, 63 males) was made at The Enchanted Forest, a wildlife preserve near Titusville, with authorization from Brevard County government.

On 29 August, a release of Lixadmontia franki (54 females, 44 males) was made in the northern part of The Big Cypress National Preserve, north of I-75, with authorization from the National Park Service.

September 2007. On 21 September, a second release of flies took place at Lake Rogers Park. It included 84 females and 80 males .

October 2007. On 5 October, 105 flies (52 females, 53 males) were released at Highlands Hammock State Park with authorization from the Park Service of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection.

On 12 October, 112 flies (59 females, 53 males) were released at the Loxahatchee NWR, the second release for that site. Reporters from several newspapers were present together with Channel 5 television, congressman Ron Klein, and a couple of dozen school children.

On 26 October, a second release was made at the Enchanted Forest, of 117 flies (58 females, and 59 males)

November 2007. On 16 November, 51 flies (29 females and 22 males) were released at Miller Tract of the Savannas Preserve State Park, St. Lucie County,  with authorization from the Park Service of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection.

On 21 November, a second release was made at the Big Cypress, consisting of 109 flies (61 females, 48 males).

December 2007. Following a tip at the Exotic Species Workshop in Naples the previous Friday, Jim Fisher and Mike Owen visited Collier-Seminole State Park on 11 December. They found 3 adults, 4 pupae, and 6 larvae of M. callizona, mostly from large Tillandsia utriculata and a few T. fasciculata . This is the first record for that park because no weevils were found there in June 2006.

On 14 December, a third fly release was made at Lake Rogers Park, of 93 flies (47 females, 46 males).

January 2008. A third release, of 130 flies (68 females, 62 males), was made at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.

On 18 January a third release, of 109 flies (54 females, 55 males), was made at the Enchanted Forest.

February 2008. A release of 78 flies (39 females, 39 males) was made on 1 February at Collier-Seminole State Park with authorization from the Park Service of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection.

On 13 February a third release, of 110 flies (55 females, 55 males), was made at the Big Cypress National Preserve.

April 2008. A release of 69 flies (33 females, 36 males) was made on 3 April at Lake Rogers Park.

On 11 April, a release of 79 flies (36 females, 43 males) was made at the Loxahatchee NWR.

On 28 April, 101 flies (53 females, 48 males) were released at the Enchanted Forest, the fourth release at that site.

May 2008. On 12 May, a fourth release of 73 flies (41 females, 32 males), was made at the Big Cypress National Preserve.

June 2008. A fifth release of 94 flies (48 females, 46 males) was made on 3 June at Lake Rogers Park.

On 13 June, 54 flies (28 females, 26 males) were released in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park under permit from the Florida DEP.

On 22 June, 100 flies (52 females, 48 males) were released at the Enchanted Forest, Brevard County, the fifth release at that location.

July 2008. A fifth release of 67 flies (37 females, 30 males) was made on 13 July at the Loxahatchee NWR.

On 28 July, 68 flies (35 females, 33 males) were released at the Big Cypress NP, the fifth release at that location.

August 2008. Three cocoons were found in a large fallen Tillandsia utriculata at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Pinellas County. Metamasius callizona adults emerged from them (Tom Funari, volunteer, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve). 

September 2008. On 5 September, 110 flies (56 females, 54 males) were released at the north end of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, the second release at this site.

January 2009. On 9 January, Howard Frank and Michael Thomas visited Hickory Bluff Preserve, east of Osteen in Volusia County and found M. callizona (an adult, a pupa, and a large larva) in fallen T. utriculata. This is the most northerly record yet, and the first for Volusia County.

February 2009. Forty-eight adults, 23 females and 25 males, of Lixadmontia franki were released at Collier Seminole State Park on 13 February.

March 2009. Fifty-five adults, 29 females and 26 males, of Lixadmontia franki were released at Collier Seminole State Park on 5 March. On 24 March, forty-one adult flies (22 females and 19 males) were released at Lake Rogers Park, Hillsborough County.

April 2009. Eighty adults, 41 females and 39 males, of Lixadmontia franki were released at Loxahatchee NWR on 14 April.

May 2009. Eighty-five adults, 52 females and 33 males, of Lixadmontia franki were released at the Big Cypress NP, Collier County on 6 May.

Ninety-seven adults, 55 females and 42 males of Lixadmontia franki were released at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Brevard County, on 27 May.

June 2009. Eighty-one adults, 48 females and 33 males of Lixadmontia franki were released at Collier-Seminole State Park, Collier County, on 18 June.

July 2009. Sixty-one adults (33 females and 28 males) of Lixadmontia franki were released at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Collier County, on 14 July.

October 2009. In mid-October, Metamasius callizona adults were found in Tillandsia utriculata in the Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve, 82°6'20.965"W 27°51'43.192"N, in Hillsborough County. Thomas Weekes, Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. On 27 October, seventy-eight adults, 44 females and 34 males of Lixadmontia franki were released at Collier-Seminole State Park, Collier County.

November 2009. On 24 November, 72 adults (41 females and 31 males) of Lixadmontia franki were released at Collier-Seminole State Park, Collier County.

May 2010. The first L. franki fly release was made at the at Oxbow Eco Center, St. Lucie County, on 17 May. Nine females and 8 males were released (total 17).

August 2010. The second L. franki fly release was made at the at Oxbow Eco Center, St. Lucie County, on 4 August. Fifteen females and 17 males were released (total 32).

October 2010. The third L. franki fly release was made at the at Oxbow Eco Center, St. Lucie County, on 14 October. Twentyfive females and 18 males were released (total 43). On Tuesday 26 October, 22 females and about 20 males (total about 42 flies) were released at a cypress dome in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

June 2011. Visits on 7 June to Matheson Hammock Park, Doug Barnes Park, and Charles Deering Estate, all of them in the Miami Dade Parks system, revealed no evidence of Metamasius callizona (T.M. Cooper and R.D. Cave).

August 2011. On 31 August, 6 female L. franki flies were released in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. All females had mated and were ready to larviposit.

April 2012. On 18 April, Teresa Cooper and Ronald Cave visited the Big Cypress and the Fakahatchee Strand. They found no fresh damage by Metamasius callizona, nor did they see M. callizona specimens. However, they report seeing few Tillandsia utriculata, which is not a good sign.

September 2013. On 7 September, Howard Frank visited Matheson Hammock Park in Dade County and searched for weevil damage to bromeliads. No evidence of weevils was found.

November 2013. On 14 November 2013, Jay and Calandra Thurrott and Teresa Cooper visited two weevil-infested Tillandsia utriculata populations in Port Orange, Florida (Volusia County). The first site was at Dunlawton Avenue N29° 8’ 20.83", W80o 59’ 45.93" and the second site was along the south side of Canal View Blvd. between Raymond Dr. and Jackson Street, N29o 8’ 15.23”, W81’ 0’ 26.71”. Both sites had bromeliads with weevil damage and, in some of the plants, empty pupal chambers. Jay Thurrott had collected a weevil pupa from the first site on 22 October that he kept and from which later emerged an adult Metamasius callizona.

 


Metamasius callizona is eradicating Florida native bromeliad populations in 22 counties: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Hendry, Glades, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, St. Lucie, Sarasota and Volusia. This includes Highlands Hammock, Lake Kissimmee, Kissimmee Prairie, Myakka River, Koreshan State Historic Site, St. Sebastian River Preserve, Savannas Preserve, and Tosohatchee Reserve State Parks, several county parks, the Big Cypress National Preserve, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. For unknown reasons, the weevil has not yet made major inroads in Miami-Dade County (it was present at Castellow Hammock before Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but has not been detected anywhere in the county since then), and has not been found in Monroe County. It infests bromeliads in the Sebastian, St. Lucie, Loxahatchee, Caloosahatchee, Peace, Myakka, and Manatee river systems as well as non-riverine sites. It is very close to Everglades National Park.


Map of distribution of M. callizona in Florida, 2009


Back           Forward


Page 1

[updated 5 Feb 2009]